PACT unveils teased business venture, sells off select assets and South San Francisco facility to AmplifyBio

PACT Pharma is selling off a handful of assets plus its South San Francisco facility to contract research organization AmplifyBio in a bid to raise additional cash.

Details about what was exactly included in the exchange were a bit piecemeal, but Monday’s announcement said PACT was handing over “advanced characterization platforms and bioinformatics capabilities.” In addition to the South San Francisco real estate, Amplify will also acquire a “number of technical operations and product characterization domain experts.” There was no dollar amount included in the announcement, but PACT said the deal allows it to “improve its overall financial position.” 

“The sale of these select assets to AmplifyBio provides the company with meaningful capital while reducing our operating expenses," PACT CEO Scott Garland said in a release. 

In emails to Fierce Biotech, Garland and PACT's chief legal and business strategy officer, Atulya Agarwal, Ph.D., confirmed the deal was tied to the diversion of some 54 employees toward a new venture in late August.

Agarwal said the number of impacted employees was ultimately a “little less than 54 employees due to a bit of attrition,” but was close. Nonetheless, the staffers that were redirected came from a group of 94 originally slated to be laid off according to a California workforce disclosure made public earlier in the summer. 

From Amplify’s side, that company's announcement said it will acquire 40 “drug development experts.” In PACT’s disclosure to the California Employment Development Department, the company reported shifting a variety of positions, including six scientists, six directors and two vice presidents. 

The deal with Amplify keeps PACT’s R&D capabilities in-house, allowing it to continue developing its neoantigen-focused pipeline. In August, the company disclosed it was ending a phase 1 trial of its NeoTCR-P1 cell therapy, which Garland said at the time was done to focus instead on “shared neoantigens.” The company says it plans to ask regulators to enter clinical testing sometime in 2023.

Although PACT says this deal helps shore up its cash reserve, how much remains in the company’s financial reservoir remains murky. The last public release from the company came in January 2020 when it said it closed a $75 million series C round.